Nope (2022) Review

Jordan Peele created something special with Nope. Surprisingly, no one is talking about it these days. Mixed reactions from critics upon its theatrical release cast a little skepticism. As the saying goes, “you can be a victim of your own success.” Peele set a precedent of multi-layered storytelling with complex plot threads, subliminal messages, and social commentary. Not surprised if viewers find this film to be different.

Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Brandon Perea. OJ Haywood (Kaluuya) and Emerald Haywood (Palmer) are siblings who own a horse ranch in California. They happen upon a startling discovery with deadly consequences. The cast is tiny, with only a few locations, which allowed Peele to do a lot more narrative wise. Nope is a welcome addition to the science fiction, horror genre. Definitely a standout from his previous work but not in a bad way.

Directors can be labeled genre filmmakers just as actors are typecast. Make no mistake, this is an entertaining movie that takes more than a few risks by subverting expectations. It’s full of suspense, implied violence, and mystery. Don’t expect a ton of gore, the terror is more psychological this time around. Think of how little the shark is actually seen in JawsKaluuya’s performance is stoic, and Palmer showcased a range of emotion whenever the two shared the screen.

Their chemistry undeniable and very convincing. There’s so much to enjoy, from the heavy dose of humor to the moments where all hope seems lost. Expect to say, “what is that?” a lot, especially in the final act. Don’t sleep on this mind-boggling experience. A good speaker system does the profound sound design justice. Nope earns an 8 out of 10.

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